The Dynadot Difference - Transparent Pricing

Barry Coughlan
Nov 29, 2017

The word 'registrar' doesn't really roll off the tongue. In fact, when people ask us at Dynadot what we do, the last word you'd want lead with is registrar. You're more likely to get a confused "huh?" than anything else. "We provide domain registration services", " we help people get online" or "we offer services for developing a website" is what we are most likely to say.

The confusion surrounding the word registrar is emblematic of a larger identity issue within the wide, diverse and often confusing Internet industry. For the most part, people simply do not know where to go when they want to start a website. It doesn't help that, unlike other products and services, registrars exist only online. This can often create a confusing marketplace where registrars are not only selling products and services but also educating Internet users. As a customer, this is one of the more interesting parts of getting online, you learn a lot, and often through trial and error. Some customers, however, find it harder than others, especially when their chosen registrar adds to the learning curve. 'Free websites', 'no commitment', or 'domains for pennies' are common advertising tropes for registrars. Dig a little deeper however and you'll notice that not is all that it seems.

Is that domain really free?

You'll often see domains advertised as being free or nearly free. This is a common tactic by registrars and it is a great way to not only separate themselves from the competition in an often noisy marketplace but also convert those customers who are on the fence or apprehensive about getting online.

What is not commonly advertised though is that that domain for sale is not always going to be free or nearly free. Every registrar pays a certain fee to the registry of the domain extension. Domain registries administer and regulate each domain extension and usually sell the domain at a wholesale price to registrars. There are also registrar fees for each domain sold paid to the the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization responsible for managing the Domain Name System (DNS) and delegates domain extensions. So after it's all said and done, there are multiple parties who will benefit from the sale of a domain. This ensures a robust and bustling Internet marketplace but also means that you're likely not really going to continue to get that domain for a dollar in the long run.

Now like any industry, there are going to be promotional sales on domains in which registries and registrars agree on a discounted price for a limited amount of time. Now hopefully every registrar labels their sales appropriately, but unfortunately, that is not always the case. When some registrars advertise all of their domains as always on sale, there is something there that just doesn't seem right. To borrow a hackneyed saying "If it's too good to be true, it probably is".

Second-year Sticker Shock

So you bought that domain for pennies last year and have received your renewal invoice from your registrar with a renewal fee that is far higher than your initial purchase. That's when the second-year sticker shock comes in. It's not uncommon for registrars to front-load the cheap prices for their domains in the first year of registration in an effort to get customers in. That's fine. But what may not be totally evident in all the fine print is that when you go to renew your domain the second year, it's likely going to be far more expensive than you thought. As well, it may seem like that website bundle you got with the free domain and hosting is far more expensive as well. Remember those fees we talked about? Well they do need to get paid somehow, and if you have built a nice website and started getting traffic on that great domain, you're likely going to pay the registrar and be a little upset in the process.

The Dynadot Difference

At Dynadot we believe that customers should know exactly what they are paying for their product. With our transparent pricing, you won't get second-year sticker shock, and you'll know exactly what to budget for your website. What you see is what you pay, and all pricing levels are listed clearly on our site. Is the domain on-sale? We'll be sure to let you know and we will also show you that renewal price as well. You'll never see us advertising those stand-alone free domains because as another hackneyed saying goes, "there is no such thing as a free lunch!"

Ready to work with a registrar that understands you and your needs, and won't purposely make the buying process confusing for you? Contact and learn how you can join Team Dynadot and meet your online goals today.

Post by Barry Coughlan